The kids started their morning with a squabble. One bickered and another curtly responded. Frustration…probably not the best way to start the day.
I had decided to keep them at home that day. They complained of a little ill, and my mama heart was weary and in need of some respite. As if we could buy some rest by negating some responsibilities…probably not another very good decision.
I could feel the tension within me rising. As if some bubbles were about to burst. I pulled feet towards the laundry room and mumbled something about hanging those clothes before the day became too busy. I opened the washer, and out came tumbling, two drenched nappies rinsed along in the cycle. Wet, white, clear crystals staining every piece of the already laundered clothes. I rubbed my eyes, shook my head, and questioned aloud, “is this for real? Who with a sane mind would do a full cycle of wash without checking?” Drowning that day under another pile of burden, I murmured, “who have time for fluff?”, and spun the clothes for another rinse.
I went and found the children, put my fingers across their lips, stopped the leaking quarrel and hushed the agitated tones. I looked at them in the eyes and said, “Look, how we start our day and treat each other will determine how we feel. Today is precious and we are together and we’re gonna have an awesome day.”
I walked away, took the vacuum cleaner and tried juggling two things simultaneously. With a silly turn of one little finger, I lost grip and dropped the vacuum cleaner and saw every conceivable dirt flying in every possible direction. Dust spewing everywhere, fluff in hand and time clocking away, and I felt sucked straight into this typhoon of the unending trivia. It’s hard to think large when you found yourself caught in a whirlwind of insanity.
So kids and I gathered around our dining table. Charlotte Mason said “Education is in the Atmosphere” and I took courage in turning our little haven of home into a living classroom, a training ground.
We watched this clip, and made bubbles right there out in our little alfresco.
As if the heart needs to finds its breathing space, and insanity be trapped in a moment of stillness.
As if the heart of God can be captured in quietness and trust, and new strength be gathered in atmospheric surrender.
“Mum, look I can make a bubble in a bubble!”, the girl exclaimed excitedly, taking the straw and blowing through gentle air.
I watched… How does one spherical layer of soapy film capture another sphere within? Space captured within a space – and I am lost in a sphere of heart breathing deeply and lungs filling fully this new freedom, this looking at life through God’s atmospheric vision.
I understand it now. I don’t need to change my circumstance, or fight for a different life, and all this fluff in my hand? They are meant to make me long for what is real. His grace is enough to fill the empty spaces of life with what is truly full and abundant – God Himself.
“Mum, Mum, Mum, look, how they get big when I blow and small when I suck,” the boy now dancing excitedly, showing off his discovery.
I smiled a mile wide, and grinned giddily. Yeah, like I need to know how my heart can enlarge or constrict depending on how much of God I am filled with.
Perhaps, this space to breathe and make most out of life happens in this atmosphere of God breathing life and meaning into us, making layers of life all elastic with His possibilities.
“Don’t pop them, Guys!” Now, I too, were laughing head over heels over the thin layers of film – molecules holding air and water together. “Make them huge. Their skins are elastic!” I prompted. I realise, this fluff everywhere were meant to make my heart seek out for a largeness only God can create.
In this sphere of skin holding air and stillness capturing joy – I could see all the bubbles merging into one, and my own vision blurring, my limitations lost in the largeness of who God truly is. I forgot my fluff, and I was consumed with my new found space.
When the last bubble was about to burst, I caught the last lifting of the skin and felt every tension easing away.